What's new in global

This week, the Global Immigration team at Smith Stone Walters would like to highlight the following recent updates from Australia, the European Union and Indonesia.

Australia: Changes to skilled visa applications

The government has changed the way the Immigration Department prioritizes skilled visa applications.

Twenty-seven job roles have been removed from the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL), including ICT security specialists, analyst programmers, developer programmers, software engineers, software and applications programmers, chief executives, accountants, engineers, veterinarians and chefs.

Highest priority for employer-sponsored visas will now go to healthcare or teaching professionals, followed by applications lodged by approved sponsors with accredited status. The next priority is applications for a role in a regional area.

Priority has been removed for the Global Talent and Business Innovation and Investment Programs. Visa applications for these programs will still be processed in line with planning levels under the annual Migration Program. The new priorities apply to all pending skilled visa nomination and visa applications that are yet to be decided, as well as new applications.

European Union: Visa waiver agreement with Vanuatu suspended

Effective 4 February 2023, the European Council has suspended the visa waiver agreement with Vanuatu due to the risks posed by its investor citizenship schemes (‘golden passport’ schemes).

A partial suspension of the agreement had already been adopted on 3 March 2022. Following the partial suspension, the Commission started a dialogue with Vanuatu on 12 May to address the EU’s concerns. However, since then the country has failed to engage in any meaningful way and the circumstances that led to the temporary suspension still persist.

A visa waiver agreement has applied between the EU and Vanuatu since 2015. This agreement allows citizens of Vanuatu to travel to the EU without a visa for stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

Indonesia: Electronic visa on arrival trial

Effective 4 November 2022, the Directorate General of Immigration has launched a trial of an Electronic Visa on Arrival (eVoA) system for nationals of 26 countries arriving at Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

  • Travellers can complete the eVoA application before departure or during transit.
  • Applicants must pay IDR 500,000 online by credit or debit card.
  • Applicants can stay in Indonesia for up to 30 days, extendable once, at the Immigration Office, for another 30 days.
  • eVoA must be used within 90 days of payment.

An online payment system will also be applied to the Visa Online web-based application for a Visa Approval Letter for a foreign national invited to Indonesia by a company or an Indonesian citizen.

The Indonesian government also recently introduced a requirement for employers to purchase ASTAKA insurance via this website for each foreign national employed to work in Indonesia for up to six months.

Expert advice on global immigration

If you need support with any aspect of worldwide immigration, Smith Stone Walters is here to help.

To speak to a member of our Global Immigration team, please contact us today.

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